Received from InkSlingerPR

Title: The Real Deal
Author: Lauren Blakely
Publisher: St Martins Griffin
Publication Date: 10 July 2018
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family’s summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau — the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?

Image from Author Website


The Real Deal is a swoon-fest, a story to refresh world-weary hearts and give hope to all of us single people 💝

April has carved her place in the city and in her unusual career but the price her family has had to pay is the physical distance between her hometown and her independent lifestyle. In an attempt to lure her back into her hometown her family take it upon themselves to act as matchmakers at their up and coming reunion. Rather than risk upsetting her family, April decides it would be easier to fake having a boyfriend than take a stand for her independence, especially after her last dating fiasco. When her friend has to leave town for a career-changing opportunity April finds herself with a boyfriend-for-hire.

Theo has a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders and has created the boyfriend for hire persona in an attempt to get some of the monkeys off his back. Theo’s upbringing was rather unstable and as a result, lead him down an unconventional and not all that kosher path 🐵 There is a lot of regret in Theo’s life but also a wariness of opening himself up to anyone following previous disasters.

While April and Theo both have some emotional baggage, it doesn’t seem relevant when the sparks fly between them from the start. They quite simply click. I adored the fictional relationship they created between them, followed by an even more romantic reality.

I always say this but I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, Theo and April being together is one of those instances. It is as if the universe conspired to bring them together as they are the foundation each requires. Helping find peace and understanding with their families, friends and lives as a whole.